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Pujols homers twice, Santana hurt in loss

Pujols homers twice, Santana hurt in loss

Pujols homers twice, Santana hurt in loss
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The final score of Wednesday afternoon's Cactus League contest at Camelback Ranch read White Sox 9, Angels 7.

But the score within the score shows Albert Pujols 2, Adam Dunn 1.

Pujols, who came into the game homerless during Cactus League action, launched about 950 feet of long balls against White Sox starter Chris Sale in the third and against reliever Anthony Carter in the fifth.

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Even Sale admitted that he lost track of Pujols' first blast, a three-run shot down the left-field line, after it took flight. Sale hit Pujols with his first offering in the first inning.

"Well yeah, a hitter like him, he's arguably the best in the game," Sale said of Pujols. "You see fastball in, you got to get it in. He proved a couple of innings later that if you're going in, you better get it in there."

"I don't really look for that. I try to just put a good swing on it all the time," Pujols said of looking to go deep. "I'm not sitting out there trying to hit the ball out of the park. I'm just trying to hit the ball back to the middle and let the ball get deep and try to make good swings every day."

Meanwhile Dunn continued his strong bounce-back spring. The designated hitter returned from a one-game absence due to a stiff neck to draw a leadoff walk in the second and then knock out a prodigious two-run homer to right in the sixth off Angels closer Jordan Walden. He walked again in the eighth.

Chicago's Eduardo Escobar hit a two-run single to break a 7-7 tie in the eighth inning and provided the White Sox with the winning margin.

Sale lasted the longest of any White Sox starter during Spring Training, pitching 4 1/3 innings, so endurance is not an issue for the converted late-inning reliever. But the southpaw gave up five runs on seven hits, while striking out two and not issuing a walk.

"What, I've thrown eight innings? Given up eight runs? That's unacceptable on every level, I don't care who you are," said Sale, who has allowed 10 hits and eight earned runs over 7 1/3 innings and two starts this spring. "By no means am I going to go home and kick myself in the rear, but I'm disappointed with what happened today. At the same time there are positives on what happened with this."

Angels starter Ervin Santana lasted just 1 1/3 innings. He was knocked out of the game by Alexei Ramirez's line drive off his right shoulder, with the injury being diagnosed as a right shoulder bruise. He's listed as day to day.

Brent Lillibridge knocked out three hits from the leadoff spot and Tyler Flowers went deep for the White Sox, while Howard Kendrick had three hits, including a two-run homer to right, for the Angels.

Up next for the Angels: C.J. Wilson, the lefty signed as a free agent this winter, will make his third start of the season Thursday against the Reds at Tempe Diablo Stadium at 1:05 p.m. PT on MLB.TV, extending into the middle innings after going two and then three in his first two starts. Wilson has yet to allow a run in his five innings of work, allowing two hits while walking two and striking out two. He'll meet right-hander Johnny Cueto, slated to be the Reds' Opening Day starter.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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